NEW DELHI: Internet services remained suspended once again at Singhu, Ghazipur and Tikri borders where thousands of farmers have been living and camping demanding the repeal of the three contentious farm laws in accordance with an order issued by the Central government which called the decision “necessary” and said it was taken to ‘maintain public safety and aver t ing publ i c emergency’. The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued an order for internet ban at the three borders and adjoining areas for 24 hours till Saturday night in the wake of the ‘chakka jam’ (road blockade) observed by farmers on Saturday.
“It is necessary and expedient to order, the temporary suspension of internet services in the areas of Singhu, Ghazipur and Tikri, and their adjoining areas in the NCT of Delhi from 0:00 hrs on February 6, 2021 to 23:59 hrs on February 6,2021. This has the approval of Union Home Secretary,” the order read.
The order was passed under Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency or Public Safety) Rules 2017, MHA officials said. Earlier, the suspension of internet services was ordered at Singhu, Ghazipur, and Tikri borders and their adjoining areas from 11 PM on January 29 and was effective till 11 PM on January 31, which was further extended till February 2.
On January 26, when largescale violence was reported during the farmers’ tractor rally, internet services were temporarily suspended in parts of Delhi. The two-month-long farmers’ agitation in the National Capital Region reached its climax on Republic Day when some protesters stormed the Red Fort and hoisted a Nishan Sahib flag- a symbol of Sikh religion.
Nishan Sahib is a light yellowcoloured flag that is hoisted on every gurudwara, except those of Nanaksarias. The Delhi Police also said that they were examining videos and footage of the incident. The Delhi Police informed the High Court on Thursday that a total of 43 FIRs had been registered regarding January 26 violence, of which 13 were transferred to the special cell.
Red Fort turned into fortress
The Delhi Police has turned the Red Fort into an impregnable fortress with barricades and trucks loaded with mud to stop any surprise intrusion by protesters on Saturday. Cranes were used to place boulder barricades as a precaution in the wake of the farmers’ call for a nationwide ‘chakka jam’. Senior police officers supervised the security arrangements at Red Fort.
Negative powers will fail: Jitendra Singh
Asserting that “negative powers” attempting to create misconceptions over the agri laws would fail, Union minister Jitendra Singh said the Centre is working with an open heart to address the ongoing farmers’ agitation. He said, “The government is working with an open heart to address this issue. All the laws which have been enacted are pro-farmer.”